On Spies, Lies and Allies, we’ve seen a lot of eyes roll when Amber walked into the room. Kaycee was fed up with her post-Double Agents antics and Berna noted that she talks about “last season” a lot.
On The Challenge, winning is the goal. Once you’ve earned the title you’re part of an exclusive club. It seems natural that this would make someone change their mentality after winning, but some people remain humble. For others, victory is an excuse to boast about their dominance. These Challengers are the ones who got their win and were never the same. Being a winner gives you bragging rights, but it also makes it impossible to hide from the competition.
When you look at Wes’s whole career on MTV, he’s always come across as cocky and abrasive. However, he was kind of likable on The Duel. He worked with the underdogs and he fought when he needed to take matters into his own hands. He played a strategic game, but one that required a certain level of bravery. But this victory gave him permission to run his mouth. After that $150,000 win, he tossed strategy to the side and acted like he was undefeatable. It was a surprising change, but it made The Ruins much more interesting.
When Johanna won The Gauntlet 3, she had an easy path to victory. Her Austin alliance kept her safe, and she didn’t need to show a lot of athletic prowess. So, she took the same approach on her later seasons. On The Island and The Ruins she clung to Kenny’s every word. She knew this would give her a level of safety and allow her to fly under the radar. It’s not an ambitious strategy, but there’s no denying that it worked pretty well for her.
Ev won on The Inferno 3, but it’s The Island that really changed her. On that season she needed to work alongside Bananas and Kenny to sail her way to victory. She burned Paula in the end, but she got her second win. After that, she went on a moral crusade to work against Bananas and Kenny. She threw an elimination on The Ruins when she’d have to face Kellyanne and she lost Fresh Meat 2 as part of Wes’s failing alliance. She’d only get her third victory once she won Rivals with Paula. Ironically, Bananas was also getting his third victory that season.
CT post-Rivals 2 is an entirely different person than the man we saw after his victory. This CT was off the rails, willing to fight, and hooked up with many girls. He also had a long storyline with Diem, and he (understandably) doesn’t talk about her on camera anymore. While he’s gone on to win multiple seasons, he refuses to revert to his old ways. He’s now married, willing to work with alliances, and keeps his hands to himself. Occasionally we’ll see some relics of the old CT, but security knows better than to let him run wild.
Cara Maria Sorbello
Cara Maria is one of the Challengers who fought for years to get a victory. When she finally won Bloodlines, a spark of confidence seemed to ignite inside her. Cara Maria returned to the show and was much more willing to play a smart, strategic game. On Invasion she was willing to work alongside Bananas and she even beefed up her puzzle skills. This allowed her to win Vendettas, which established her abilities and led to her becoming the cult leader of her own alliance.
Ashley “Millionaire” Mitchell
Ashley was never an easygoing competitor, and she did seem to gain confidence after winning Invasion. Her biggest change came after Final Reckoning when she took Hunter’s money. Now, she had a reputation as a snake and would need to create new relationships in the game. This led to her seeing multiple early eliminations and working with Cara Maria, but she did get $1,000,000 for her win on Final Reckoning. If you ever need a reason to change, that’s a pretty good one.
It’s understandable for Hunter to change after Final Reckoning. He won the season but left penniless when Ashley took all the money. On War of the Worlds, he seemed to hold a lot of anger. He would lash out, argue, and almost quit. While Hunter was never the calmest person on the show, the fact that he’d argue with Amanda or pack his bags seemed very uncharacteristic.
While he only did 2 seasons, the Turbo we saw on War of the Worlds 1 is entirely different than the competitor on War of the Worlds 2. On his first season, he was usually calm and respectful. On his second season, he was a poor competitor and easily angered. When Jordan implied that Turbo wouldn’t have won if he’d been on War of the Worlds 1, Turbo got confrontational and borderline-violent. This type of behavior led him to get kicked off of War of the Worlds 2.
On War of the Worlds 1 & 2, Dee was a good teammate and rational player. Then, she won War of the Worlds 2 and everything changed. She became a villain and wanted to cause waves in the house. She’d try to blindside people going into elimination and she was willing to sabotage other players. A lot of Dee’s cutthroat gameplay was edited out of Total Madness, but the early episodes did show a major change from the prior season. Wes realized he was no longer mentoring Dee; he’d created a monster.
According to her castmates, Amber is different now that she won Double Agents. She’s willing to put her own ass on the line and she’s motivated by revenge. However, she won with CT on her side. This fact alone will discredit her victory, even though she displayed a great performance in the Double Agents final.